I was in my class teaching a very dry subject when I saw an email message that simply stated what I had longed to hear: “Asma Jahangir wins”. I didn’t need to know any further details as a wish had been accomplished to see an honest and principled woman become the president of the Supreme Court Bar Association. But why did I wish for her to win? Here are some reasons:
- She calls a spade, a spade. Never minces words about matters which have been left for the bigots to decide and comprehend
- She had become vocal against what she saw as “playing to the galleries” by the supreme court judges
- She questioned verdicts based on the “playing to the galleries” and openly denouncing them
- She questioned mindless laws like Article 62-F of the constitution that calls for a member of Parliament to be “sagacious, righteous and non-profligate and honest and ameen”, something which is extremely subjective and not provable. Her views on laws related to Zina ordinance and Blasphemy are something which the right winged media and pseudo-liberals have never liked
- She has leaning towards the left and has for sure without an iota of doubt always been against military dictatorship.
- Ever since she openly criticized the judgment on NRO, she has been a target for Ansar Abbasi-Ahmed Noorani duo at Jang and The News. In a matter when Ansar Abbasi was apparently threatened by SMS, she condemned the act and fully supported Ansar Abbasi as this was “assumed” to be against freedom of press. The same reporter, Ahmed Noorani only in January was to record her conversation against her knowledge and print the words “ulloo kay pathay” which she said. Though she said something which was her opinion, the same were given undue headlines by Jang and The News.
- It seemed that Jang and The News always considered her to be a strong candidate for the position of SCBA President. A vilification campaign was launched against her that continued till 27th of October. A story titled “Lawyers worried over Asma’s stand” was made by none other than Ahmed Noorani on the polling day. Maybe Jang and The News thought that they replicate what they did against Sheikh Rasheed in Rawalpindi bye-elections. (We will be doing a detailed post on the stories done by Ansar-Noorani duo against her)
- Upon winning the election, she gave two important statements which will hopefully guide her tenure:
- Mayn News aur Jang kee ghalat campaign kay bawajood jeeti hoon aur mayn unn propagandists ko batana chahti hoon, News aur Jang mayn bethayn hayn kay mayn unhayn sahafi nahee samajhti. Hum zard sahafat ko hamesha criticise karayn gay
After the disaster in the shape of Qazi Anwar who played in the hands of Ansar Abbasi/Ahmed Noorani and Shahid Masood, we can only hope for sanity to return to the SCBA. It also shows that after a very long time, a proper division between people leaning towards the left and those stuck in the right was visible and the left won! It is a good omen for all of us who have wanted sanity at the top and hopefully Asma Jahangir will be able to provide that.
At the end I hope that Geo now plays “Hum Dekhayn Gey” which they ran endlessly during the restore CJ movement. Faiz must have been tossing and turning in his grave seeing his ghazal being (mis)used by the rightists. Well, why would Geo play it now. It’s group has now been openly attacked by Asma Jahangir. As they wont play it, you can read it below:
I will emphasise that “Goonjay ga anal haq ka naara, jo mayn bhee hoon aur tum bhee ho”.
Another important aspect is that leftists or liberals have traditionally had issues with each other on petty matters which is why we never see the real liberals coming up as winners in our country. The rightist forces always huddle together to achieve their desired results. We have seen IJI being formed with a view of stopping PPP from winning the 1988 elections; we saw all the mullas joining hands to win significant number of seats as MMA in 2002 and in 2007 we saw the rightist nexus of PML-N/Media/Judges join together to make life miserable.
And for our friends in Jang, The News and Geo. It was your second loss in a week. First was the non-judgement on 18th Amendment allowing there to be no dama-dam mast qalandar and second was today in the form of Asma Jahangir’s win. Remember, once is a fluke, twice is a streak!!